Mayflower Steps
The Barbican
Devon PL1
Plymouth is known as the English port that the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from on their voyage ”…to settle in NEW PLYMOUTH, and to lay the Foundation of the NEW ENGLAND STATES…” The actual site where the 102 Pilgrims and crew embarked on the ‘Mayflower’ in 1620 was demolished but the Mayflower Steps are as close as we can get to it.
Above the steps is the Portland stone Mayflower Memorial which was erected in 1934. Set in the pavement in front of the memorial is the original granite memorial stone.
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Inserted into the wall to the right of the pillars is the 1891 memorial plaque which reads:
“On the 6th of September 1620 in the Mayoralty of Thomas Fownes, after being "kindly entertained and courteously used by divers Friends there dwelling", the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth in the Mayflower, in the Providence of God, to settle in NEW PLYMOUTH, and to lay the Foundation of the NEW ENGLAND STATES -- The ancient Cawsey whence they embarked was destroyed not many Years afterwards but the Site of their Embarkation is marked by the Stone bearing the name of the MAYFLOWER in the pavement of the adjacent Pier. This Tablet was erected in the Mayoralty of T J Bond 1891 to commemorate the Departure, and the visit to Plymouth in July of that Year of a number of their Descendants and Representatives.”
Around the Mayflower Memorial are a number of plaques commemorating this as the place where other important voyages started such as the plaque erected in 1939 recalling the departure from Plymouth in May 1839 of the 'Tory', the pioneer ship in the colonisation of New Zealand.
Another plaque reads:
“From Plymouth On 13th March 1787, sailed the transport ships 'Friendship' and 'Charlotte' carrying men and women convicts bound for Australia. On 28th January 1788, with nine other ships from England they landed at Port Jackson, which became Sydney, New South Wales. There they established the first British Colony under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, R.N. the father of modern Australia.”
In 1986 the South Australian Cornish Association unveiled a plaque to the thousands of Cornish people who sailed from near this spot to South Australia during the 19th century.
The arrival in Plymouth Sound of the first American seaplane N.C.4 Transatlantic Flight on 1 May 1919 is also remembered.
A lot of important events including the return of the Tolpuddle Martyrs from the penal colony in Australia have happened close to the Mayflower Steps.
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Google Map - Mayflower Steps

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